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Naked Capitalism | India Is Mulling Rupee-Ruble Payments System for Trade with Russia
as the tide rolls out WK 3 and Jake Sullivan laces up his gloves for another helping of "What have you done for us lately?"

by Cat on Mon Mar 14th, 2022 at 05:08:35 PM EST
I see that crypto currencies are on the rise again today after months of free fall. Not a surprise. So people will buy the biggest energy-vampire and make their energy bills rise by themselves? The final vicious circle?
by Tom2 on Mon Mar 14th, 2022 at 06:19:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Talking about energy and heating... from the Guardian:

Some of the poorest people in the UK will "simply starve or freeze", as a result of rocketing energy prices, consumer expert Martin Lewis has warned, as he urged Rishi Sunak to take action in his spring statement.

Lewis said energy bills for an average household, already set to rise to £1,971 in April, could hit £3,000 in October, when the regulator Ofgem next sets the price cap. "That's my conservative guess: not the worst case," he said...

"When you start to have absolute poverty... then I think you have to get to the point where you have to question what the impact on wider society is, because you know that extreme poverty causes civil unrest," he said...

The chancellor announced a package of measures last month to soften the blow of surging energy costs, including a £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A to D, and a £200 discount on bills in October, which will be repaid with higher bills in future years.

Sunak is holding the line against making that scheme more generous when he gives his spring statement on 23 March. Lewis - who has been critical of the £200 rebate, which he calls a "loan-not-loan" - urged him to go further, given the renewed increase in prices since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which will feed into the October energy price cap....

Lewis... argued that the chancellor's first priority must be "those people who will simply starve or freeze because of this. And that is not exaggeration".

by Tom2 on Mon Mar 14th, 2022 at 06:21:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So yeah. That "conversation" ended as badly could be predicted.

Ned Price | State Department Warns China of Consequences If it Aids Russia, 14 Mar A/V (EN)

I'm not confirming anything from here. What I will say is we are watching very closely the extent to which the PRC or any other country for that matter provides any form of support, whether that's material support, whether that's economic support, whether that's financial support, to Russia. Any such support from anywhere in the world would be of great concern to us. [...] We will not allow any country to compensate [?!] Russia for its losses.
Global Times | Exclusive: China captures powerful US NSA cyberspy tool, 14 Mar
Through technical analysis, the center believes that the "NOPEN" Trojan horse is characterized by complex technology, comprehensive functions and strong concealment, which can fit a variety of processor architectures and operating systems. It can also collaborate with other cyber weapons and is a typical tool used for cyber espionage.

The report came after the NSA was exposed to have been launching cyberattacks against 47 countries and regions for a decade, with Chinese government departments, high-tech companies and military-related institutes among the key targets. Under the surveillance of the NSA, the privacy and sensitive information of hundreds of millions of people around the world were exposed, like "running around naked."

China will not seek to ease tensions with the US by damaging China-Russia relations, 14 Mar A/V (Mandarin, EN subtitles)
by Cat on Mon Mar 14th, 2022 at 07:58:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DW | US and China hold high level talks about Russia's invasion of Ukraine, 14 Mar
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi,for an "intense" seven-hour conversation on Monday to discuss reports that Russia has asked Beijing for arms to support its invasion of Ukraine, US officials said.
[...]
Tough economic sanctions against Beijing appeared unlikely, however, as China is the biggest exporter in the world, the European Union's largest trading partner and the foremost supplier of goods to the United States "largest trading partner".
Chinese graphite dominance threatens electric car ambitions, 14 Mar 2022
... The rolling power blackouts as well as the suspension of graphite production in winter [PANDEMIC!] further squeezed global graphite supply, already struggling to keep up with strong demand for lithium-ion batteries as global electric vehicle TSLA sales went through the roof.
... As a result, the mineral, which has often been overlooked when it comes to battery materials, has added to the troubles of battery and car manufacturers, who have been scouring the planet to secure supplies of other battery constituents like ["blood"] lithium, nickel and cobalt [from DCR]. ...
For their part, Chinese officials dismissed the reports in the Financial Times ["lie factory"] that Russia has requested weapons as "disinformation."
by Cat on Mon Mar 14th, 2022 at 11:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico | China insists it's 'not a party' to Russia's war with Ukraine, 14 Mar
China is not a party to the [Ukraine] crisis," Wang reportedly told his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel Albares, over the phone, according to Xinhua, China's state press agency. "Some forces have kept smearing China on the Ukraine issue ... and fabricated all sorts of disinformation."
"read outs", 15 Mar
Xinua (a) | Senior Chinese official elaborates on China's position on Ukraine situation
Xinua (b) | Senior Chinese diplomat meets U.S. national security advisor
[...]

Wang's remarks came after U.S. officials told multiple news outlets, including POLITICO, on Sunday about the Russian request, and as China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi also spoke with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Rome for seven hours on Monday, according to a senior U.S. official.
[...]
The U.S. assertion that Russia has ["]reached out["] to China for military assistance also renewed suspicion among officials in the European Union about Beijing's role in the Ukraine crisis. Diplomats said national EU foreign ministers are "bound" to discuss it during a Council meeting next week. "Diplomats are planning to discuss it on the EU level," a senior diplomat said. "Ukraine has to be the main subject in the April 1 EU-China summit."

by Cat on Mon Mar 14th, 2022 at 11:35:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not sure this has been posted here. The guy stinks highly but at least what he says should be double checked.
https:/greatmountainpublishing.com/2022/03/07/detailed-proof-of-the-breathtaking-graft-and-corrupti on-of-joe-biden

What did it take to go from 2020 prosecution of the Burisma case to weaponizing Zelenski?
The Panama papers?
https://www.occrp.org/en/the-pandora-papers/pandora-papers-reveal-offshore-holdings-of-ukrainian-pre sident-and-his-inner-circle

by Tom2 on Tue Mar 15th, 2022 at 10:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. That page is 404. Doesn't matter. Seminal link between Biden and corruption was recorded for posterity by the Council on Foreign Relations, Jan 2018;
  2. ICYMI: Les Crises | Plan du dossier 'UkraineGate' - Des faits qui dérangent (EN, RU) is riveting; and
  3. Luke Harding may be the last muck-raker to pass through occrp's WC.
by Cat on Tue Mar 15th, 2022 at 09:47:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Thu Mar 17th, 2022 at 05:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
High stakes and corruption .... Presidential campaigns 2016 and 2020 ... Democrats playing the Russophobia card had the backing of Poroshenko ... Trump and Republicans tried all to smear Hunter and Joe Biden ... the site you linked is just as legit as Fox News ... zero evidence ... Democrats tried to impeach Trump ... all a lot of bull and kabuki theater. Pretty complicated ...

Hunter Biden Partner Secured Millions for Fund from Businessman with Reputed Organized Crime Ties | OCCRP |

They uncovered kickback payments from Burisma of $3.4 million dollars to the Morgan Stanley account of Rosemon Seneca Bohai LLC, a company controlled by Hunter Biden. That was only part of the payments made to Hunter Biden who was the conduit and front-man for Joe Biden.

One notable piece of evidence was that Ukrainian investigators caught representatives of the Burisma Oil Company, a company where Hunter Biden sits on the board of directors, paying a $6 million bribe to the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Burea (NABU) to get the NABU to shut down the investigation into political graft and corruption by the Ukrainian government that benefitted Burisma. That payment to the NABU was only part of a total bribe of $50 million.

Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin

Key players:

  • Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov
  • Return of Dmitro Firtash with Plan for the Modernisation of Ukraine
  • Related reading ....

    Ukraine Caught Between East and West, Red and Blue

    'Sapere aude'

    by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 15th, 2022 at 10:59:27 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    https:/wallstreetonparade.com/2022/03/5-count-felon-jpmorgan-is-at-the-center-of-a-new-multi-billio n-dollar-trading-scandal
    by Tom2 on Wed Mar 16th, 2022 at 05:43:27 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    China Daily | Senior Chinese, US officials hold talks in Rome, 15 Mar
    By press time, few details were known about the meeting, but the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the key issue is to implement the important consensus reached by the Chinese and US heads of state at their virtual summit in November [2021].
    US Americans: wut summit?
    The Taiwan question has been the most sensitive in the China-US relationship. The Foreign Ministry expressed strong opposition to the US on Monday for its adoption of a fiscal omnibus bill--the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 [ H.R. 2471]--which carries a Taiwan-related provision.
    east asia and the pacific
    Sec. 7043.
    (a) Burma.-- [??!]
    [...]
    (c) Indo-Pacific Strategy and the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act of 2018.--
    [...]
    (3) Restriction on uses of funds.--None of the funds appropriated by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs may be made available for any project or activity that directly supports or promotes--
    (A) the Belt and Road Initiative or any dual-use infrastructure projects of the People's Republic of China; and
    (B) the use of technology, including biotechnology, digital, telecommunications, and cyber, developed by the People's Republic of China unless the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator and the heads of other Federal agencies, as appropriate, determines that such use does not adversely impact the national security of the United States.
    (4) Maps.--None of the funds made available by this Act should be used to create, procure, or display any map that inaccurately depicts the territory and social and economic system of Taiwan and the islands or island groups administered by Taiwan authorities.
    The US' move grossly interferes in China's domestic affairs in an attempt to engage in political manipulation by using the so-called issue of the Taiwan map to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", said Zhao, the ministry spokesman, on Monday.

    Global Times | US fails to trap China over Ukraine at Yang-Sullivan meeting, 15 Mar 2022
    Some Chinese experts believe that the Rome meeting was an occasion for the senior Chinese official to straightforwardly lay out the country's consistent position on the Ukraine issue, when the US-led West continued to pressure China to "pick a side."
    (China: Ima tell youse this much. We are not on the side of bullshit.
    Not only has the US failed to understand the essence of the China-Russia relationship, it also maliciously connected the Ukraine crisis with the Taiwan question, despite the different nature of the two issues, some experts said, noting that with the strategic composure, China has not fallen into this trap.

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on March 15, 2022. AFP is hard of hearing.
    ... What the US should do is to deeply reflect its role in the evolving situation of the Ukraine crisis, and do more things that can help to ease the situation. ...
    by Cat on Tue Mar 15th, 2022 at 09:27:50 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    France24 | China reports more than 5,000 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, an ALL-TIME HIGH, 15 Mar
    China reported 5,280 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, more than double the previous day's tally and the highest daily count since the start of the pandemic

    The northeastern province of Jilin was worst hit, accounting for more than 3,000 cases, according to the National Health Commission.
    On March 14, 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps on the Chinese mainland reported 3,602 new cases of confirmed infections (95 imported cases, 20 in Guangdong province, 17 in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, 12 in Shanghai municipality, 12 in Zhejiang province, 9 in Beijing municipality, 9 in Shandong province, 6 in Fujian province, 4 in Sichuan province, 3 in Tianjin municipality, 1 in Liaoning province, 1 in Jilin province and 1 in Hubei province, including 20 confirmed cases converting from asymptomatic cases, 10 in Zhejiang, 3 in Guangdong, 3 in Sichuan, 2 in Tianjin, 1 in Beijing and 1 in Guangxi; 3,507 indigenous cases, 3,076 in Jilin including 2,601 in Jilin city, 460 in Changchun, 10 in Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture and 5 in Siping, 106 in Shandong including 48 in Qingdao, 19 in Binzhou, 12 in Zibo, 10 in Weihai, 7 in Weifang, 7 in Dezhou, 2 in Rizhao and 1 in Yantai, 53 in Shaanxi province including 40 in Baoji, 6 in Xi'an, 4 in Hanzhong, 2 in Tongchuan and 1 in Xianyang, 51 in Tianjin including 26 in Wuqing district, 7 in Binhai New Area, 4 in Hexi district, 4 in Nankai district, 3 in Hongqiao district, 3 in Xiqing district, 2 in Jinnan district and 2 in Baodi district, 48 in Guangdong including 39 in Shenzhen and 9 in Dongguan, 33 in Fujian including 31 in Quanzhou and 2 in Xiamen, 31 in Zhejiang including 16 in Jiaxing, 14 in Quzhou and 1 in Jinhua, 24 in Liaoning including 9 in Dalian, 8 in Yingkou, 6 in Shenyang and 1 in Fuxin, 20 in Jiangsu province including 15 in Changzhou, 3 in Lianyungang and 2 in Suzhou, 13 in Hebei province including 5 in Langfang, 4 in Handan and 4 in Cangzhou, 10 in Chongqing municipality including 7 in Shapingba district, 1 in Yubei district, 1 in Banan district and 1 in Yongchuan district, 9 in Shanghai including 3 in Minhang district, 2 in Huangpu district, 1 in Xuhui district, 1 in Hongkou district, 1 in Pudong New Area and 1 in Songjiang district, 7 in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, 7 in Gansu province including 4 in Lanzhou New Area, 2 in Lanzhou and 1 in Baiyin, 6 in Beijing including 2 in Dongcheng district, 2 in Chaoyang district, 1 in Xicheng district and 1 in Haidian district, 4 in Qinzhou, Guangxi, 4 in Yunnan province including 3 in Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture and 1 in Honghe Hani and Yi autonomous prefecture, 2 in Zunyi, Guizhou province, 1 in Ma'anshan, Anhui province, 1 in Yongcheng, Henan province and 1 in Changsha, Hunan province, including 73 confirmed cases converting from asymptomatic cases, 43 in Shandong, 19 in Jilin province, 8 in Tianjin, 2 in Gansu and 1 in Jiangsu), 2 new cases of suspected infections (both were imported cases in Shanghai), and no deaths. 149 patients were released from hospital after being cured. 7,251 people who had had close contact with infected patients were freed from medical observation. Serious cases remained the same.
    [...]
    As of 24:00 on March 14, 284,856 confirmed infections had been reported in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan province: 263,411 in Hong Kong (4,279 had died and 28,318 had been cured and discharged from hospital), 82 in Macao (79 had been cured and discharged from hospital) and 21,363 in Taiwan (853 had died and 13,742 had been cured and discharged from hospital).  
    Since the coronavirus first emerged in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, China had successfully suppressed large-scale outbreaks through its strict "zero-Covid" strategy, which involved hard lockdowns that confined huge sections of the population to their homes. But Tuesday was the sixth day in a row that more than 1,000 new cases were recorded in the world's second-biggest economy.
    by Cat on Wed Mar 16th, 2022 at 01:29:45 AM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Yle | Coronavirus latest: 4,300 new cases, 20 deaths on Thursday; Post-Covid normality in sight but mask use still reccomended
    The Finnish health authority THL has confirmed 4,295 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday [17 Mar]. The agency also added 20 new fatalities to the total toll which now stands at 2,783 since the beginning of the pandemic.
    unprecedented. inconceivable.
    by Cat on Thu Mar 17th, 2022 at 05:38:49 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The Hill | Biden to speak with Xi Jinping on Friday, 17 Mar
    "This is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication between the United States and the PRC," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday, referring to the People's Republic of China. "The two Leaders will discuss managing the competition between our two countries as well as Russia's war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern."
    HOLD THE PHONE ...
    by Cat on Thu Mar 17th, 2022 at 07:57:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]

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